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DBT Yuma, L.L.C. v. Yuma County Airport Authority

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 16, 2014

DBT YUMA, L.L.C., an Arizona limited liability company; DBRT YUMA FBO, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company; DBRT YUMA HANGARS, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company; DBRT YUMA MAINTENANCE, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, Plaintiffs/Appellants,
v.
YUMA COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY, a body politic and corporate pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-8424; [1] YUMA COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Arizona, Defendants/Appellees

Appeal from the Superior Court in Yuma County. No. S1400CV201001309. The Honorable John Neff Nelson, Presiding Judge.

Baird, Williams & Greer, LLP, Phoenix By Daryl M. Williams, Craig M. LaChance, Co-Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants.

Torok Law Office, P.L.L.C.,Yuma, By Gregory T. Torok, Co-Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants.

Yuma County Attorney's Office, Yuma, By William J. Kerekes, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Yuma County.

Kutak Rock, LLP, Scottsdale, By Paul S. Gerding, Jr., Marc R. Lieberman, Kelley Braden, Co-Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Yuma County Airport Authority.

Byrne, Benesch & Rice, PC, Yuma, By Wayne C. Benesch, Shawn D. Garner, Co-Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Yuma County Airport Authority.

Judge delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which. Presiding Judge Peter B. Swann and Judge Michael J. Brown joined.

OPINION

Page 1081

[236 Ariz. 373] Kenton D. Jones, Judge:

[¶1] This appeal requires us to determine whether Yuma County, which leases its airport land to the Yuma County Airport Authority (YCAA), a nonprofit corporation pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) sections 28-8423[2] and -8424, may be held vicariously liable for the actions of that nonprofit lessee.

[¶2] Plaintiffs, all Arizona limited liability companies, brought an action against the Yuma County Airport Authority for breach of contract and various torts. Plaintiffs later amended their complaint to add Yuma County as a defendant under a theory of vicarious liability. Yuma County moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. Because A.R.S. § 28-8424 does not impose vicarious liability upon Yuma County for the actions of YCAA, we affirm.

FACTS[3] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶3] YCAA was formed as a nonprofit civic corporation in 1965 for the purposes of, inter alia, operating and maintaining airports in southern Arizona. By virtue of a lease agreement signed in 1966, and subsequent amendments thereto (collectively, Lease Agreement), Yuma County leases the land

Page 1082

[236 Ariz. 374]upon which the Yuma International Airport (Airport) is located to YCAA for purposes ...


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